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But if your eating choices are dominated by your feelings, there’s a reason why.
People who tend towards emotional eating will have similar thought patterns running over and over in their mind. But the good news is that you can correct these thoughts starting today.
Don’t Panic – Some Emotional Eating Is Normal
Everyone has eaten because of their emotions. Even as a dietitian and nutritional hypnotherapist, I still choose food because of emotions occasionally! We can’t 100% separate our thoughts and emotions from food choices all the time.
But what is not normal or healthy are things like:
The Thoughts That Keep You Eating Emotionally
Let’s look at some of the thoughts that lead to ongoing emotional eating. Everyone is different, so you might have one, several, or a variation of these. But the majority of people who eat emotionally on a regular basis will experience these.
1. It’s not possible for me to change
If you tell yourself it’s impossible to change how you are, you’ll just keep doing the same things you do over and over. A common variation is ‘it’s just how I am’, ‘this runs in my family’, or even ‘I’m an emotional eater’. If you tell yourself over and over that you’re an emotional eater, your unconscious mind is going to act on that!
2. It’s going to be hard work, so why should I even start?
Our unconscious minds are always taking us away from pain and towards pleasure. So if you tell yourself that it’s going to be all hard work and no fun, your unconscious mind is going to do everything it can to stop you from doing that thing!
3. My emotional eating isn’t my fault, it’s because of (the kids, my job, my partner, my stress levels, etc)
Everyone focuses on one of two things – cause or effect. If you’re focusing on effect, all you’re noticing is why you can’t do something. It’s about who or what is to blame for what is happening to you. When you’re blaming everything else, you take away your power to do something about it.
How To Change Your Thoughts And Kick Emotional Eating To The Curb
Did those thought patterns and habits seem familiar? The good news is that you recognise them. And if you recognise them, you have the power to change them! Here are 4 steps to take back control of your emotional eating.
1. Focus on what you can control
Is everyone else to blame for your eating behaviours? At the end of the day – no. They can contribute to your triggers, but they don’t open your mouth and force cookies in. Or at least, I hope they don’t!Keep a journal for a few days, and write down who and what is to blame when you go off track with eating. Look for ways you can take back control of the situation. Maybe you can remove yourself, or ask for help, or even just tell someone how you’re feeling.
2. Shift your inner dialogue
When you notice your trigger, find a way to focus on what you want instead of eating that triggering food.Make this fun! You can create a mantra around what you want to do, like ‘pumping iron helps me play!’. Or you could drive past McDonalds where you pick up your Frozen Coke every day, and sing to yourself, ‘The coke never bothered me anyway…’
3. Measure your progress
As they say, what you measure, you get done. If you’re trying to implement healthier approaches, track your progress. You might track how many times you go to the gym each week, how much water you drink, or your body measurements as you make a lifestyle change.Remember, there is no such thing as failure – only feedback. If you get a result you don’t like, it’s a chance to tweak your approach for next time.
4.Get some support and accountability
Sometimes, there are triggers that are so deep that you can’t release them alone. Other times, an unbiased person can spot things that you didn’t even think about. That’s where working with a nutrition expert and a mindset expert can come in.
Lucky for you, I’m both in one neat little package!
Want to learn this and many more techniques to immediately shift your focus? Check out my new 6-week End Emotional Eating program by Clicking Here
Not sure what is right for you? Book a free 15min Chat Here
And remember: Health is not a size, it’s a feeling!